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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Tuesday - March 25, 2014

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Container Gardens, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Type of clumping bamboo for outdoor planters from Plano TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What type of clumping bamboo can be grown outdoors in planters in Dallas,TX?

ANSWER:

These two plants are in our Native Plant Database with the common name of "bamboo."

Arundinaria gigantea (Giant cane)  See this previous answer on this plant native as near as Grayson County to the Dallas County area. Also, when you follow the plant link to our webpage, you will see that it can grow from 3 to 25 feet tall. Doesn't sound much like a container plant, does it? A member of the Poaceae (grass) family.

Juncus dubius (Dubius rush) - Again, follow the plant link. This only has the common name of "bamboo," and is not a member of the Poaceae (grass) family as are the bamboos, native and non-native. A member of the Juncaceae (rush) family.

You might be interested our How To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants.

There is no "clumping bamboo" in our Native Plant Database. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Smarty Plants. is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the place where they are being grown; in your case, Dallas Co., TX.

We went to the Internet and found, from Bamboo Gardens, Hardy Clumping Bamboo. From that, we copied these genus names of bamboos, with their country of nativity. We do not recommend any of these, both because most bamboos are invasive and none of these are native to North America. If you wish, you can search the Internet on each genus name and see what kind of information you will get. Most of the information is from nursery companies seeking to sell the plant so you must take a grain of salt when you read them.

Fargsia - western China

Thamnocalamus - South Africa

Chusquea - Chile

Borinda - China

Since we have no pictures of Arundinaria gigantea (Giant cane) in our Image Gallery, follow this link to pictures from Google. Here is more information from the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

 

 

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